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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Well, these are two pretty similar cars we have here! It's only details that could potentially make the difference. Considering they both belong to the small family car segment and utilize the same 5-door hatchback body style and the front wheel drive system, it all comes up to the specific petrol engine choice they offer. The first one has a Opel-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 170hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 150hp engine designed by Mazda.Safety
The first thing to look into here would be the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests performed on the two cars. Good thing is that both vehicles got tested, with the Opel being a slightly better choice apparently. That aside, let's consider some other aspects which affect safety. Both vehicles belong to the small family car segment, which is generally classifying them somewhere in the middle safety-wise, but it doesn't do much to help us decide between the two. Furthermore, if we'd like to consider vehicle mass in this context too, which we definitely should, the German car offers a marginal difference of 6% more metal.Reliability
I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that Mazda does have a slight advantage, at least on all of the models level. These are the results of an independent reasearch, while our visitors describe reliability of Opel with an average rating of 4.2, and models under the Mazda badge with 4.4 out of 5. Independent research findings rank Astra as average reliability-wise, and 3 is more or less at the same level.That apart, owners of different cars powered by the same engine as the German car rank it on average as 3.0, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 5.0 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Opel is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.1 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 217 kilometers per hour, 17km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the Japanese car, averaging around 8.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (34 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 11% difference compared to the German car.
Mazda is apparently more reliable, not too much, but just enough. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the German car offers much better overall protection, which launches it ahead of the other contender. It all continues in the same direction, with Opel offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... No mistake, whatever you decide here, but I'd still go for the Mazda. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser™, among thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.